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INST 2401: Life & Earth Systems

This guide will provide resources and assistance for students enrolled in INST 2401.

The Research Cycle

The Research Cycle Explained

Primary Sources - "materials on a topic upon which subsequent interpretations or studies are based"

  • Poems
  • Diaries
  • Court records
  • Research Results generated by experiments

Secondary Sources - analyze or restate primary sources. They often attempt to describe or explain primary sources. Some secondary sources not only analyze primary sources, but use them to argue a contention or to persuade the reader to hold a certain opinion.

  • Dictionaries, encyclopedias
  • Textbooks
  • Books and articles that interpret, analyze, or review research.
  • Newspaper and magazine articles

In the sciences, an experiment or study is primary source. An article that reviews and summarizes several studies or experiments conducted by other people is a secondary source.